Shaykh Abdullah Amjad Chathwi
(1354H/1935 – 1438H/2017)
Compiled, Translated & Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
The Shaikh and Allamah Abdullah Nasir Rehmani said, “Today I say this while being in a state of great sadness and being emotional, I heard the very upsetting news that the Ustadh al-Ulama al-Muhaddith al-Kabir, Mufassir al-Azim, al-Faqih, Fadhlilatush Shaikh Muhammad Abdullah Amjad, may Allah have mercy and envelope him in it, passed away and journeyed to the hereafter and left the Ahl al-Hadith, this is indeed a calamity for Jama’ah Ahl al-Hadith”
He is al-Allamah, al-Muhaddith, the Shaikh al-Shuyukh a-Hadith, the Shaikh ul-Hadith Abdullah Amjad bin Abd al-Aziz bin Jamal ud Din Chathwi. He was born in 1354H corresponding to1935ce in the village of Dahani in the district of Khanghanagar in the state of Bikanir in India. Some have said he was born in the area of Budhyamal in India. He read the Quran to his father, Abdul Aziz, he also read some of the books of Shaikh Hafiz Muhammad Lakhawi like, Ahwal Akhirat, Zinat Islam and other books to his father.
After the partition he moved with his family and some elders to Chak no.36 in the Jaranwala district, which is in the greater district of Faisalabad and to its western side. The Pakistani nomenclature for villages which dates back to British rule is Chak, which is a Punjabi word, which essentially means village and instead of names, numbers and letters are used to identify villages in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The Shaikhs title of Chathwi is from the Urdu word translation of the number 36, which was the village he moved to after migrating from India during the partition.
He was the nephew of the great Ahl al-Hadith scholar and the son in law of Shaikh Abdullah Budhyamalwi, who spent his whole life going from institute to institute and teaching the clear meanings from the Quran and Sunnah, giving Hadith it’s due right and superior importance, above and beyond the opinion of men and those who just referred back to the opinion of men within the madhabs.
After moving to Pakistan, he joined the madrasah of Mian Muhammad Baqir which was Khadim al-Quran wal-Hadith and at the time Shaikh Muhammad Siddiq Karpalwi was teaching there. Shaykh Abdullah Amjad Chathwi remained at this madrasah for 2 years and learnt and studied with Shaykh Muhammad Siddiq Karpalwi.
He then moved to Owdanwala and enrolled at Shaikh Sufi Abdullah’s madrasah known as Dar al-Ulum Ta’lim al-Islam. It should be noted Shaykh Sufi Abdullah was not a Sufi as we know the term to denote but rather it was a colloquial term used for pious and righteous people. Shaykh Abdullah Amjad remained here for another two years and studied with versatile scholars like Shaykh Abdus Samad Rauf, Shaikh Muhammad Yaqub Quraishi, Shaykh Muhammad Sadiq Khalil and Shaykh Abdullah Budhyamalwi.
His fellow students also went onto become major scholars and Shuyukh al-Hadith in their own right from the likes of Shaikh Abdur Rashid Hazarwi who was the Shaykh ul-Hadith in Dar ul-Hadith in Okara and the Shaykh and Qadi Muhammad Aslam Sayf as well as many others.
Shaikh Abdullah Amjad’s Quest for Knowledge
Shaikh Abdullah Amjad was the nephew of Shaykh Abdullah Budhyamalwi and was was also married to his daughter. When Shaykh Abdullah Budhyamalwi moved from Owdanwala to Jamia Muhammadiyyah in Okara, Shaykh Abdullah Amjad also went with him. While at Okara Shaykh Abdullah Amjad Chathwi studied books of Hadith with Shaykh Muhammad Bhathwi, he studied the books like Jame Tirmidhi, Sunan Abi Dawud as well as other books on other sciences.
From the teachers that were teaching in Jamia Muhammadiyyah in those days was the Hadith Master Shaykh Muhammad Abduh al-Falah, Shaikh Abdullah Amjad had the opportunity to study books Hujjatullah al-Balighah, Mutanaba, Sharh Aqaid al-Nasafi and others with him. Shaikh Abdullah Budhyamalwi who was fulfilling the role of Musnad as Shaykh ul-Hadith and so in this regard Shaykh Abdullah Amjad studied Sahih al-Bukhari, Tafsir Baidhawi as well as other important books of the sacred science of advanced level.
During these years and specifically around 1953 the movement for upholding and honouring the Finality of the Prophethood was in full force. The government of Pakistan at the time was supporting the Qadiyani’s ie Mirzai’s. The people objected to the beliefs of the Qadiyani’s and their desecration of the Finality of the prophethood. Shaykh Abdullah Amjad was also very instrumental and highly active in this movement ie preserving the honour and finality of the prophet of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu alayhi wasallam. He along with a few other companions would visit the local areas and he would explain the deviation of these corrupt beliefs, the importance to uphold the honour of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu alayhi wasallam as well refuting the beliefs of the Qadiyani’s. The Shaykh at the time was just a teenager, perhaps when he was either 17 or 18.
When this fitnah subsided Shaykh Abdullah Amjad Chathwi continued with his studies, he took the exam for Hujjatullah al-Balighah and the paper was written by the eminent scholar of the Ghaznawi family, namely Shaykh Muhammad Dawud Ghaznawi, the Shaykh Alhamdulillah passed the exams with high marks. Once Shaykh Abdullah Amjad met Shaykh Muhammad Dawud Ghaznawi while in Lahore and Shaykh Ghaznawi asked Shaykh Abdullah Amjad to come to his Institute to teach and he also told him they would bare the complete expenses.
This was because Shaykh Abdullah Amjad had already studied a few books with Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq at Shaykh Muhammad Dawud Ghaznawi’s institute known as Dar al-Ulum Taqwiyatul Islam and some books at Jamia Ashrafiyyah. Shaykh Abdullah Amjad declined the kind and benevolent request and explained that he would be teaching in Jamia Muhammadiyyah in Okara whilst also seeking knowledge by studying and reading certain books on the sacred sciences to Shaykh Abdul Mannan Kamelpuri and Shaykh Abdul Qadir. When Shaykh Dawud Ghaznawi heard that he wanted to study with Shaykh Abdul Mannan, he said to him, to go ahead and continue to study and also teach at the same time. So he studied a few books on mantaq ie logic with him.
Thereafter at the behest of Shaykh Mu’in ud-Din Lakhawi, Shaykh Abdullah Amjad began teaching. Shaykh Abdullah Budhyamalwi was already teaching in Jamia Muhammadiyyah in Okara and when Shaykh Abdullah Amjad graduated in 1956 he began teaching at Jamia Muhamadiyyah, this is also where he had spent most of this time learning. After graduating and teaching at Jamia Muhammadiyyah, the people became well acquainted with him, his manners, and deep knowledge of the sacred sciences. Due to the status which Allah granted him, he became known amongst the students who would come to him to seek knowledge.
He had numerous teachers which include the likes of
Shaykh ul -Hadith Wal-Tafsir Shaikh Abdullah Budhyamalwi
Shaikh ul-Hadith Muhammad Abduh Falah
Shaikh ul-Hadith Wal-Tafsir Muhammad Abdullah Rawpari
Shaikh ul-Hadith Muhammad Yaqub
Shaykh Muhammad Bhathwi
Shaykh Muhammad Siddiq Karpalwi
Shaykh Abdus Samad Rauf
Shaikh Muhammad Yaqub Quraishi
Shaykh Muhammad Sadiq Khalil
Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq
Shaykh Abdul Mannan Kamelpuri
Shaykh Abdul Qadir
His Legacy as a Teacher Over Half a Millennia
The Shaykh continued to teach in Jamia Muhammadiyyah for 4 years, during which time he taught, Sunan Nasai, Mishkat al-Masabih, Jame Tirmidhi, Tafsir Jame al-Bayan, Kafiyyah, Talkhis al-Miftah, al-Fiyyah and other books.
Thereafter the Shaykh ul-Hadith Abdullah Veruvalwi spoke to Shaykh Abdullah Amjad and asked him to come to Faisalabad to Dar al-Quran wal-Hadith, during the same year Shaikh Abdullah Budhyamalwi who was the Shaykh ul-Hadith also left Jamia Muhamamdiyyah and went to Jamia Salafiyyah in Faisalabad.
Shaykh Abdullah Amjad taught in Dar Al-Quran wal-Hadith in Faisalabad for 4 years, thereafter Shaikh Ismail Salafi requested Shaikh Abdullah Amjad to come to teach Jamia Salafiyyah in Faisalabad where he taught the Muwatta of Imam Malik, Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani and Musallam al-Thabut. He remained in Jamia Salafiyyah for a whole year and also taught other books.
Thereafter at the behest of his teachers Shaikh Muhammad Abduh Falah and Shaikh Mu’in al-Din Lakhawi he returned to Jamia Muhammadiyyah in Okara by fulfilling the request of his teachers. During his first year there he taught Sahih Muslim, Sharh Aqaid al-Nasafi, Muwatta Imam Malik, Sunan Abi Dawud as well as other books. At the time Shaikh Muhammad Abduh Falah was the Shaikh al-Hadith and in 1970 Shaikh Muhammad Abduh Falah transferred to Jamia Ulum al-Athariyyah which was another learning institute in Faisalabad and so Shaikh Mu’in al-Din Lakhawi gave the position to Shaykh Abdullah Amjad and made him the Shaykh ul-Hadith of Jamia Muhamamdiyyah. In total and in general Shaikh Abdullah Amjad taught in Jamia Muhammadiyyah for 18 or so years and also taught Sahih al-Bukhari for a number of years.
During the years 1973-1974 the problems of the Finality of the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu alayhi wasallam remerged and Shaikh Abdullah Amjad and Shaikh Mu’in al-Din Lakhawi were fervent in the movement to preserve the finality of the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) and their severe refutation of the Qadiyaniyyah. Eventually both Shaikhs were arrested and put into prison and numerous other people were also with them in prison. The Shaikh continued delivering lessons and sermons on the Quran and its explanation while in prison.
The Shaykh continued to teach in Jamia Muhammadiyyah for a few years after he was released from prison and thereafter the Shaikh went to a village called Pak Patan which was next to a place called Arifwala. In Pak Patan the Shaikh taught in Jamia Ishat ul-Islam for approximately 10 years, despite the fact Shaikh Mu’in ud-Din tried to stop him from leaving Jamia Muhamamdiyyah, Shaikh Abdullah Amjad replied that he had given his word.
After 10 years in Jamia Ishat ul-Islam he moved to Arifwala at the request of the Ahl al-Hadith people there. The Shaikh further spend 1 and half years teaching in Arifwala, after this period the administrators of the institute were having financial problems and had to let the Shaikh move on. During this time the Ahl al-Hadith brothers at Chichawatni learnt of the circumstances and thus some of the elders went to Arifwala and asked the Shaikh, the other teachers as well as all of the students to all come to Chichawatni and the Shaikh began teaching at their institute, Jamia Ishat al-Ulum al-Muhammadiyyah. The Shaikh remained here for 1 year and due to unforeseen circumstances the Shaikh had to leave.
Thereafter, Shaikh Atiqullah Salafi and other respected people met Shaikh Abdullah Amjad and requested that he come and teach at their institute of Dar al-Dawah aAl-Salafiyyah situated at Satyana Bangla, which was situated in the district of Faisalabad. Since leaving Chichawatni, Shaikh Abdullah Amjad remained in Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah as the Shaykh ul-Hadith and Mufti and this is where he continued to teach until he died this week from approximately 1993, making it approximately 24 years of teaching in Satyana Bangla.
While in Satyana Bangla the Shaikh taught many books as one can imagine, he taught for example, Hidayah, Tafsir Baidhawi and of course Sahih al-Bukhari.
The Shaikh apart from his usual lessons would also deliver lessons and lectures on the explanation of the Quran during the whole month of Ramadhan, which he continued for 30 or more years which the students would benefit from immensely.
This is the Shaikh giving a lesson on the Quran in Satyana Bangla, Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah SEE HERE
Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah, Satyana Bangla
Chronology of his Teaching
Jamia Muhammadiyyah, Okara 4 years, 1956-60
Dar al-Quran Wal-Hadith, Faisalabad 4 years, 1960-65
Jamia Salafiyyah,Faisalabad, 1 year, 1965-66
Jamia Muhammadiyyah, Okara 14 years, 1966-80
Jamia Ishat ul-Islam, Pak Patan 10 years, 1980-90
Arifwala, 1 and half years, 1990-92
Jamia Ishat al-Ulum Muhammadiyyah, Chichawatni, 1 year 1992-93
Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah, Satyana Bangla 24 years, 1993-2017.
The Shaykh has been teaching from approximately 1956 and has continued to teach well over half a millennia and probably closer to 60 years or so. In this regard he has taught classical fundamental texts numerous times, year in year out. He has taught the Muwatta Imam Malik many times as well as teaching Sahih al-Bukhari at least 40 times. Besides being an expert and specialist teacher he was also an excellent orator. He also had an analytical debating mind and would often engage in discussions with the people of knowledge of the various different methodologies.
Shaikh Abdullah Amjad Teaching Bukhari
The Shaikh loved to teach Bukhari and he would thus teach it with great diligence with giving each Hadith, the narrators and the points of benefit it’s due right and attention. He would take his time and make sure every student had understood each point. He would test them on a regular basis and the students in the same way would come prepared. At times if the students were ill prepared the Shaikh would be very firm and reprimand them, he would explain the lesson to them and then later show them kindness and highlight the importance to learn and memorise the knowledge. Some days the Shaikh would deliver two and sometimes even three lessons in a single day on Bukhari, which showed his love for this tremendous book on the saying of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alayhi wasallam.
The rector of Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah, Shaikh Atiqullah Salafi informed us, the day before his death on the 14th of August 2017, Shaikh Abdullah Amjad gave his usual lesson on Bukhari and the the students were eventually dismissed but he wished to continue teaching as he did not feel content. So the students returned and the Shaikh continued with his explanation and lesson on Bukhari which he then finished for a second time.
Shaikh Atiqullah Salafi also mentions on the same day on the 14th of August 2017, there was a meeting at the university and the discussion was regarding starting a new class in a particular location and the idea was that any teacher that lived near the location should deliver it for convenience’s sake. However, none of the other teachers volunteered to take the role of teaching or beginning the class. So Shaikh Abdullah Amjad decided to deliver the first lesson for the opening of the class. Shaikh Abdullah Amjad delivered the lesson after Maghrib for approximately 1 and half hours on explaining the Quran.
Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah, Satyana Bangla
Shaikh Atiqullah Salafi said I have known Shaikh Abdullah Amjad for over 2 decades and in all the time I have known him as teacher at Dar al-Dawah al-Salafiyyah he has never taken a single day holiday or time off, he never came late, not even a minute, he never wasted anytime time especially of the students. Another student mentioned that once the Shaikh was extremely ill with severe fever but the Shaikh still came to teach without missing the day.
The Shaikh was very simple in nature, without excessive talking and would only speak when needed. He would spend hours with students teaching them and answering questions when needed. Sometimes students would visit him throughout the day asking questions. Sometimes other dignitaries and students would come to visit him to ask questions and to benefit from him. When the people would ask him questions he would reply to them strictly from the Quran and Hadith and he would also give the references for the Hadith.
The Shaikh also had another unique characteristic in that when he would answer questions and provide evidences he would also add any further discussions that could arise from the evidences. So he would say the answer is this Hadith and if someone claims such and such then the answer to that is this Hadith etc and this is how the Shaikh would cover all possible alternative issues when people would ask him questions. It was such unique characteristics that raised Shaikh Abdullah Amjads rank as a highly proficient Mufti.
Shaikh Abdullah Answering Questions as the Mufti
The Shaikh would also travel to Raiwind to deliver the Friday Khutbah which was periodically over 40 years, Raiwind is approximately 109Km / 68 Miles directly from Faisalabad but driving via the main roads takes in excess of 2 and half hours one way. So one can imagine the diligence and the effort Shaikh Abdullah Amjad would endure to deliver a Friday Khutbah and with this it must also be noted which is by no means an easy journey at such tender ages past the age of 60 and then doing this for 40 years periodically, at least once a month is something one needs to be in awe of.
During one Khutbah in 1999 the Shaikh began to vomit blood but he continued and finished the Khutbah. The Shaikhs sermons would last 50 minutes or so and the people Alhamdulillah would listen attentively without showing any signs or disengagement. Thereafter the Shaikh limited his visitations and reduced his sermon times. It is very evident such students who learnt and listened to the Shaikh are the ones who benefitted the most and hence became scholars and students of the sacred sciences.
The Shaikh was extremely humble and filled with immense humility, when people would ask him questions he would refer them to his students while saying they have good knowledge on this subject. Once a person asked him a question pertaining to Hadith and the angle was from rejecting Hadith, so Shaikh Abdullah Amjad told him to go to his student, Shaikh Irshad ul-Haq Athari. This shows his humility and the status of his students.
Another time he was delivering a lecture and there were other scholars on the stage and so Shaikh Abdullah said, these Mashaikh are perhaps younger than me in age but they have more knowledge than me. This was from the Shaikhs humility, wara and taqwa. The reality was none of the Shaikhs were even near Shaikh Abdullah’s knowledge.
The Shaikh had hundreds of students whilst teaching for over half a millennia and making a list of all of them would be near enough impossible. The Shaikh would always ask about his students, how they were and what they were doing, he would always convey his Salam to them. Sometimes visitors would come to him and he would ask them about his student who had studied with many many years ago and at times over a decade ago. This shows the love of a teacher for his students, that even after graduating he remembered them wishing them good.
Aside from the daily teaching routine, Shaikh Abdullah Amjad would visit the students in their quarters everyday after Asr, where the students would ask general questions and issues related to their subjects and curriculum, the Shaikh would answer them with great patience and comprehension.
The Shaikh would also look after his health and this is evident because the Shaikh died at an old age, and all praise is for Allah the giver of life. Once the students asked Shaikh Abdullah Amjad what his daily routine was. He replied that whilst he was a student and teacher in Jamia Muhammadiyyah in Okara, he would eat two apples everyday and he would play volleyball between Asr and Maghrib.
The Shaikhs Students
A teacher is often recognised by the calibre of his students. From them are the likes of
The Allamah and Muhaddith Shaykh Irshad ul-Haq al-Athari
Shaikh Irshad humbily Greeting Shaikh Abdullah Amjad
He is well known for his knowledge and especially the science of Hadith. He has many detailed books on Hadith and narrators and also his specialty in correcting the false notions and errors of the hanafi madhab. His book I’la Al-Sunan Fil Mizan is a testimony to this. He also has numerous other books that are highly beneficial. His is one of the instrumental scholars who has kept the people of innovation at bay, so much so that one of the heads and defenders of the hanafi and deobandi madhab in Pakistan had to say about Shaikh Irshad that we ie the hanafis and deobandi cannot take charge of the Ahl al-Hadith and Salafi’s while their Ibn Taymiyyah of this era is around, and he was referring to Shaykh Irshad ul-Haq al-Athari.
When the Shaykh is of this calibre and status, one would naturally would like to know who his teachers are, since they produced such a brilliant student and scholar in his own right. Approximately 1999-2000 Shaykh Irshad ul-Haqq al-Athari visited England and Alhamdulillah we spend every second of our time with him, so upon asking him who his teachers were he mentioned Shaykh Abdullah Amjad Chathwi as one of them. So from that day we were acquainted with the Shaikh and then every so often upon reading the biographies of some of the other Shuyukh, we would read Shaikh Abdullah Amjad’s name as one of the teachers.
Shaikh Abdullah Amjad talking to his student, Shaikh Irshad
Shaikh Abdul Aziz Al-Alawi – He is a shaykh ul Hadith is Jamia Salafi Faisalabad
Shaykh Hafiz Abdul Manan Nurpuri – the well known Salafi and Usuli Scholar who subdued the people of innovation and falsehood. Read the following for a glimpse of his academia. A Snippet from the Life of Shaikh Abdul Mannan Nurpuri (d.1433H) Rahimahullah see
Shaykh Hafiz Abd al-Kabir – He is also a Shaykh ul Hadith in a Jamia in Faisalabad
Shaykh Gulzar Ahmad – He is also a shaykh ul Hadith in Dar Al Quran wal Hadith in Faisalabad
Shaikh Mufti Abdul Hanan – He is a teacher in Jamia Salafi Faisalabad
Shaikh Abdus Salam Bhuthwi
Shaikh Abdul Alim
Shaikh Muhammah Akram Shah
Shaikh Abdul Ghaffar Awan Madani
Shaikh Ataullah Tariq
Shaikh Ahmad Ali Sayf
Shaikh Asadullah Bhamruwi
Shaikh Muhammad Siddiq
Shaikh Abdur Rashid
Shaikh Maqsud Ahmad
Shaikh Ajaz Ahmad
Shaikh Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghafur Rashid
Shaikh Habib ur-Rehman Kazimi
And hundreds more
The Shaikh has children who are ell educated and teach in schools, colleges and universities,
The Shaikhs Last Hours
After delivering his lesson and explaining the Quran for 1 and a half hours after Maghrib, he prayed Isha in Jama’ah and around 10.00pm he felt some pain in his shoulders which later subsided. Later in the night at 2.00am the Shaikh felt the pain again, thereafter which he was taken to a hospital in Faisalabad and passed away while returning to our creator.
This was the typical day in the life of these great scholars delivering lessons in the day on Bukhari whileexpounding and explaining the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wasallam and then explaining in the Quran in the evening, what such great solace can a person have in propagating the Quran and Sunnah and then meeting our Rabb.
This great Salafi scholar of the Ahl alHadith died at the tender age of 82 years after having spend in excess of 60 years teaching and propagating the Quran and Sunnah. He died in Faisalabad around 2.00am on the Dhul Hijjah 1438H corresponding to 15th of August 2017. His funeral prayer was on the same day after Asr in Satyana Bangla which was attended by thousands of people, students and scholars alike.
The Janazah of Shaikh Abdullah Amjad
The Ahl Al-Hadith have truly lost this giant Hadith master, we pray that Allah raises for us another such obedient servant who upholds the Salafi creed and Manhaj of calling to the teachings in his Quran and the Sunnah. Amin